Tuesday
Aug232016

The Album Leaf 'Between Waves'

 The Album Leaf are back, and they have a new album called 'Between Waves' on Relapse Records that is a sonic adventure in uncharted experimental rock territory. We would put this right in that genre of some of our absolute favorite bands like Tortoise, Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai, Caribou and so many more. But the project started by Jimmy Lavelle as a solo mission that blossomed into an amazing full band is beyond comparison. They have made something new and wonderful here.

The songs on 'Between Waves' are densely layered and complex, and it wouldn't be a stretch to called them all incredible, bold sonic creations. On top of the fact that you could pick apart dozens of amazing individual technical elements from each song, The Album Leaf accomplished job one beautifully, which is making great sounding, easy to love music that will make you feel something awesome. A lot of reviewers will probably go ahead and call this 'post rock' (if that's a thing) - but this isn't a new version of something old. This is something on it's own entirely.

We have given this extra cool record a ton of listens to get ready to write about it, and we've found it suits most - if not all activities. Dog walks, late night or early morning (or even mid afternoon) work sessions, road trips, all of it. This record is engaging and motivating from start to finish. The Album Leaf really have something to be proud of with this record. We can't wait to have it in our collection!

 

 

Check out this amazing remix of 'Never Far' by the one and only Dntel!

The Album Leaf - "Back To The Start" from 'Between Waves' due out August 26, 2016 on CD/LP/DLX 2xLP/Digital via Relapse Records.

Pre-Order on Relapse: bit.ly/BetweenWaves
Pre-Order on Bandcamp: thealbumleaf.bandcamp.com/
Pre-Order on Google Play: geni.us/BetweenWavesGP
Pre-Order on Google Play Deluxe: geni.us/BetweenWavesDLXGP
Pre-Order on iTunes: geni.us/BetweenWavesiT
Pre-Order on iTunes Deluxe: geni.us/BetweenWavesDLXiT
Pre-Order on Amazon: geni.us/BetweenWavesAMZ
Pre-Order on Amazon Deluxe: geni.us/BetweenWavesDLXAMZ

Official links:

The Album Leaf on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheAlbumLeaf
The Album Leaf on Twitter: twitter.com/thealbumleaf
The Album Leaf on Bandcamp: thealbumleaf.bandcamp.com/

www.relapse.com
www.facebook.com/relapserecords
www.relapserecords.bandcamp.com
www.twitter.com/relapserecords

Tuesday
Aug092016

Black Atlass: 'Haunted Paradise'

Black Atlass follows his debut EP 'Blossom' with the full length debut of the year as far as we're concerned.  The sound of these songs embodies the delicate balance implied by the title.  Where 'Blossom' balanced the dynamics of his music with his delicate, yet powerful voice, this one shows an intricacy and elegance that does not come easily. 

The singles 'Island Love' and 'Blonde' show the true feeling of the album without giving away too much.  Each track shares elements of the sounds that comprise the cohesive story told throughout the record.  We can't help but think that the album is partly inspired by the artist leaving his home of Montreal to set up shop and work on the new album in Los Angeles.  Leaving home to focus on something so vital can make anyplace feel like paradise, and yet being in a new city can make one feel like a ghost.

The same can be said of the return home after a great adventure.  'Glow In The Dark' is one shining moment where it's boldly clear that we are witnessing a vital next step in the growth and evolution of Black Atlass.  The video for 'Blonde' is as ominous as the song itself.  After multiple listens it's still unclear whose heart is breaking...

Throughout your first listen to 'Haunted Paradise' it's easy to forget just how much Black Atlass puts into this project.  In a day and age where authenticity seems to bear great significance, we are not only dealing with an artist who writes and performs his own music and lyrics, but also records, mixes, and engineers each song in addition to overseeing the creative process for every aspect of this album.  As a result he has substantial creative control and is able to see his vision brought to life. 

That process is only one of the major reasons why Black Atlass stands out.  His voice is stunning, the music straightforward and emotive, and from beginning to end the album is a seamless listen.  It's a brief glimpse into another world.  It becomes a momentary trip to a 'Haunted Paradise', if you let it...

Tuesday
Aug092016

Live From The House Of Soul: Charles Bradley and Menahan Street Band

You won't find many live concert dvd's filmed with the precision, quality and creativity of this right here. We should all know by now that Charles Bradley is a magnetic personality and a monster of a voice. He surrounds himself with extra soulful and super airtight musicians - and in doing so, creates authentic vintage soul music for right now.

The world needs Charles Bradley.

We had the distinct pleasure of seeing him and his band play in June at Field Trip in Toronto in June. After a rainy afternoon he brought out the sunshine and he does the very same with this live dvd. Interestingly, it's filmed on the rooftop of the legendary Daptone Records office in Brooklyn.

If you've seen Charles Bradley live and you love him already, this is a perfect way to tide yourself over until you see him again. If you are unfamiliar with his music - we couldn't possibly recommend it more, and this short film would be the perfect primer.

The thing is, Charles Bradley will love you as much as you love him, maybe more! And if you were to meet him, he'd likely be the first one to tell you so.

Pick up your copy of this collector's item here!

Friday
Jul292016

Stwo: 'D.T.S.N.T.'

Stwo's name has caught some major attention lately thanks to production credits on Drake's 'Views'.  Beyond 'Weston Road Flows' there's so much brilliant music from the French producer.  The big names are overlooked on 'D.T.S.N.T.' in the name of working with some highly unique, innovative new artists like Daniel Caesar, Atu, Shay Lia & BADBADNOTGOOD.  The albums title means 'Down To Say Nice Things', an idea perfectly representing Stwo and his contribution to the world of music. 

The album beautifully balances a smooth, soulful sound with a powerful production.  The real greatness lies in Stwo's ability to hold something back while alluding to where the music is going.  Few can accomplish this, and yet it's something Stwo does a few times on this record.  'Insecure' stands out almost instantly, as does the single 'Out At Night'. 

'All Alone' puts Stwo in collaboration with Shay Lia and BADBADNOTGOOD for what may be the stand out track of the album.  The music is simply beautiful in its lonliness.  It's a bit of a departure from the intensity of what we expect from BADBADNOTGOOD, but then it shows the powerful effects our collaborators can have on us.

This is evident in Stwo's career as well.  Ever since meeting with 40, there seems to be an apparent shift in focus and the resulting bold sound. In a world that often focuses on fame Stwo's contribution is purely artistic, and clearly authentic.  This music is natural and raw, and 'D.T.S.N.T.' is one of the top new releases for the summer.

'D.T.S.N.T.' is out now.   Get it here and check out 'Out At Night' below.

Thursday
Jul072016

Young Rival 'Strange Light'

 

 

You know us, we fuckin' love these guys. You get nothing but the best from them. With each release they reach new levels of greatness.

They have made us some shit that we will love forever.

Hot on the heels of the absolutely incredible 'Interior Light' LP (on the glorious Paper Bag Records), they are gracing us with an ep of genuinely brilliant rock and roll aptly titled 'Strange Light'. It's actually a companion piece to the LP, so to speak. The band's sessions with super producer Graham Walk proved so fruitful that they emerged with two sets of songs - all begging to be released to the world.

Now, you don't NEED 'Interior Light' to enjoy 'Strange Light'. Not by a long shot. But do we recommend you get them both? Oh holy shit yes. The thing about it is, we can't stop listening to either. But this is about 'Strange Light', which is a masterpiece.  It's five beautiful, wonderful rock songs So we should focus on that. We could attempt like so many others to describe what it sounds like - but instead we will just tell you that this has become a record we can't live without. We have that special relationship where you press play from the beginning again the moment the last song is over.

We can't offer you much more of a review than we can a plea. Please go get this record. Young Rival are on to something significant and game changing. Or, they are just making exceptional pieces of music. Either way, let's all pay close attention.

'Strange Light' (2016) - available on Paper Bag Records: http://shop.paperbagrecords.com/produ...

Young Rival Tour Dates:
August 20th - Elora, ON - Riverfest Elora
September 3rd - Sarnia, ON - Festival of Good Things